Armonk, N.Y. (Dec. 10, 2003) -- Accounting is among 12 vertically integrated markets that technology giant IBM is concentrating on as part of its decision to move away from producing generic business technology.

Elaborating on IBM's Dec. 1 announcement that it was realigning to develop and market vertical industry-focused systems, spokesman Jay Pierce this week said that that strategy hinges on Big Blue's partnerships with independent software vendors already serving the targeted verticals. He cited San Mateo, Calif.-based Intacct Corp., a Web-hosted accounting and business management applications company, as one of its key ISV partners in accounting.

IBM, which provides the Web-hosting platform for Intacct, in November announced that it was also significantly enhancing its marketing alliance with that company and making Intacct a key component of IBM's "e-Business on Demand" Internet-based service delivery program. IBM made the announcements at Intacct's annual partners conference, attended by approximately 300 accounting practitioners,

Pierce this week noted that Intacct is helping IBM reach the accounting profession in a manner similar to how other ISVs are helping it reach the other 11 verticals. Intacct's applications "are built and enabled on IBM hardware and software middleware -- a set of software solutions that help ISV applications integrate with a customer's existing IT infrastructure," he said.

Pierce also said that IBM's new vertical focus represents "the biggest shift in its go-to market strategy since the company exited the software application business five years ago" to focus on middleware.

-- John M. Covaleski

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